Closer to home

Impressionism on the pond: Reflections from the woods.

As each experience arises, live it out as fully and deeply as possible; think it out, feel it out extensively and profoundly; be aware of its pain and pleasure, of your judgments and identifications.  Only when experience is completed is there a renewal.  We must be capable of living the four seasons in a day; to be keenly aware, to experience, to understand and be free of the gatherings of each day.

~ J. Krishnamurti


I had a very interesting morning.  I had planned a different sort of blog post for today.  After Sunday’s protest hike, Monday’s rant musings, and Tuesday’s lie, I would rather focus on my morning meditation and walk around the pond.  However, this blog is all about Life in the Bogs and that includes this morning’s interesting event.

Crystal clear

Two very nice young women, geologists, stopped by as I was on my way out the door for my walk.  They work for a company based in Canton, Ohio who have been contracted to do some work for an energy company that is currently fracking in Ohio.  It takes a lot of water to frack (which helps explain part of the official name:  “horizontal hydraulic fracturing”).  Some sources (anti-fracking sources) estimate that between 1-8 million gallons of water may be used for one well, and one well could be fracked up to 18 times.  The energy companies involved in fracking estimate 2-4 million gallons of water use, with 3 million being the most common, but don’t say how many times they frack one well.

The two very nice young geologists were here to talk about our pond, and the possibility of selling water from the pond to the fracking company, or perhaps it’s another company contracted to obtain and bring in the water for the fracking company.  Either way, it’s all about the fricking fracking.

At the center of the oak

It makes me chuckle, especially when I think about how one of the very nice young geologists commented on the sign on our barn which states our property is a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat.  I realize that’s no big deal.  All you need is a garden, the money to pay the fee for the sign (I think it was $15 at the time we certified our habitat, maybe $25, somewhere in that vicinity), and you, too, can have a certified wildlife habitat.  We take it seriously because we feel we are caretakers for this land, and want to make it as wildlife friendly as we can and still have a garden and a healthy pond.

Asters cascading

There are other ways in which the event is amusing.  Timing.  Irony.  That sort of thing.  I don’t suppose it needs to be stated, but for the record, we won’t be selling our pond water.  (Sorry kids and grandkids.  There goes your big inheritance.)

Reflections not for sale

The trees reflected in the river — they are unconscious of a spiritual world so near to them.  So are we.

~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

On the surface

I had a long talk with my visitors.  I asked questions about how they would extract the water, and how drawing out one to two feet of water at a time would effect the fish, frogs, and other creatures in the pond.  I listened to what they had to say.  I was told that part of the evaluation process would be to determine how much water could be safely drawn out without harming the ecosystem.

Hanging on above water

We have been quick to assume rights to use water but slow to recognize obligations to preserve and protect it… In short, we need a water ethic — a guide to right conduct in the face of complex decisions about natural systems we do not and cannot fully understand.

~ Sandra Postel, Last Oasis:  Facing Water Scarcity

(Emphasis mine.)

There’s the rub, aside from the fact that I don’t want to support fracking in any way, shape, or form.  How much do we really know about how these systems work?  I am sure the young geologists think they know what they’re doing.  I don’t believe, though, that any of the scientists anywhere fully understand how the various ecosystems work and/or how they’re all connected.  I have great doubts that anyone could say without reservation that taking massive amounts of water from the pond will not upset the balance of things.

Gazing down into the woods

I have been wondering of late about the aquifer that provides our well water.  How big is it?  Will any fracking that takes place 8-10 miles away have an effect on it?  You see, I think it’s all connected, in the same way the researchers are finding connections between whole foods, nutrition, and health.  Scientists isolate out one thing they think is good for us, but then find it’s more than that one thing.

Our little maple tree was all ablaze after this morning’s rain.

I think I’ll spend a day or two researching some of the things I’ve been wondering about.

I could keep my eyes shut. (Barred Owl at the Quail Hollow Nature Center.)

That’s about all there is from the Bogs for today.  Thank you so much for stopping by as I wander around the pond and through my thoughts.  It’s lovely here today.  After some morning rain, the weather and sky have cleared up nicely.  Indian Summer is here.   It’s sunny, warm, and will be warming up near 80 tomorrow.  I don’t see snow in our weather forecast yet, but it will be chillier next week (highs in the 40s).  The frogs, hiding during that last cold spell, are back, enjoying this warm-up.  I thought I’d warn you so the sudden “eeeep!” and jump doesn’t frighten you as you walk around the pond.  The bees are buzzing in the meadows again, too.  It’s a pleasing, almost melodic sound.  Be careful in the woods.  The leaves and mud are creating slippery conditions back there.

Have a delightful day, evening, or night… wherever and whenever you are on the spectrum of time.

But it seems better to approach things with my eyes wide open.

The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives.

~ Native American saying

27 Comments on “Closer to home”

  1. How interesting! I don’t quite understand why they were asking if they could buy some of your pond water…. how would that help what they’re doing? I would have done the same thing – said “NO”! If I had a beautiful pond like that, I wouldn’t want to drain it, either (not even part of it)!

    I wish we could have this warm weather for Trick or Treating next week! I’m afraid it’s going to be cold and nasty…. I hope at least the rain holds off!

    • Robin says:

      Well, it’s not just some of the pond water, Holly. Theoretically, they’d keep coming back for more as the pond replenishes. The geologists who stopped by said they were approaching a lot of people who owned ponds, and they happened to notice ours is pretty big. (I don’t think they “happened” to notice. GoogleEarth would have shown the biggest ponds in this area.) I’m not sure why they’re approaching pond owners for their water, but suspect it might have something to do with the watershed and the Great Lakes Compact. We’re part of the Lake Erie watershed so it’s probably not as easy for them to take water from the area as it is from other areas. The pond water might fall under the category of surface water or some such loophole that allows them to take/use the water. I don’t know for sure. That’s just a guess.

      I hadn’t even thought about Trick or Treating. I hope the rain holds off for you, too. 🙂

  2. Beautiful photos, Robin! You certainly had an interesting day! I would have made the same decision about the pond water. It would have upset me to talk to the geologists. You probably held it together better than I would have. The whole subject is disturbing. Of course they saw the pond on google earth…

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Karen. 🙂

      I’m practicing a calm attitude, but to be honest, it wasn’t easy to hold it together. Fracking is very upsetting to me.

      • I admire so much about you, Robin. Your concern for nature is inspiring. Your blog is my link to the beauty of northern Ohio, which I miss so much. My parents still live in eastern Ashland county, but they do not relate to my interest in nature, environmental issues, and photography – especially in Ohio. I will be hoping for very little disruption while the fracking occurs, and zero impact on your property.

  3. artsifrtsy says:

    I’ve wondered about aquifers too – I live on well water too and wonder about how things happening in the area might affect it. Our local Electrical Coop has been spraying herbicides along the power line paths – you have to jump through so many hoops to opt out. I wonder how it affects all the water below the karst. They seem unconcerned. Good for you – hang onto your water!

  4. OWL! OWL. sorry love real owls.
    They didn’t just notice. They know about water before they start because it’s vital to the process. (water rights here is a big issue – and getting bigger). It’s not just the damage to the pond and eco system, it’s the increase in traffic/damage/noise/hazards to local roads (and they would have to build access to the pond).
    Those “nice geologists” aren’t the ones that will show up to draw and transport the water.
    How deep is your well? (will you be able to monitor water level? The old big wells are easy to do this, not sure about the modern small pipe ones) If the site is 8-10 miles away, it is most likely over the same aquifer – which may be regulated for usage. It sounds like your area does have some care of the available water.
    Trying to feel like the floating leaves in that great photo…Love the first one, too.
    You are so right we are guardians of the land – land becomes more valuable as time goes by. Enjoy the glorious fall colors – and thanks for sharing them with us!

    • Robin says:

      LOL, PhilosopherMouse! That’s okay. I love real owls too. I’m not sure how deep our well is since it was in place when we bought the property. That’s another good thing for me to find out. Thank you. 🙂

  5. Val says:

    I love you for this, Robin. Thank you for saying no to them. Ponds help create ecosystems and if they’re suddenly removed or disturbed it affects far more than just the life within the pond.

    When is all this going to end, this disturbing of nature for the apparent sake of humankind? How is disrupting nature going to help us? We are all part of everything else. We can’t – mustn’t – set ourselves apart from the rest of the natural world, but that’s sadly what many of us do. Particularly those running huge corporations.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Val. 🙂

      I wish it would end, too. I’d hoped by now the corporations would have stopped (or been forced to stop) thinking purely in terms of profit with no care for what damage they may cause.

  6. You impress me with your determination and dedication to protect and do what is right.

  7. Marianne says:

    Good for you, Robin. I agree with your statement, “I don’t believe, though, that any of the scientists anywhere fully understand how the various ecosystems work and/or how they’re all connected.” It’s all about money. They really don’t give a “hoot”. Great post, Robin! 🙂

  8. ehpem says:

    Terrific photos, as usual.
    “fricking fracking” sounds like you nailed it with that expression.

  9. aFrankAngle says:

    Interesting how you are approached. The obviously only researched the location of water, and not anything about the owner. Way to stand tall!

  10. Sallyann says:

    “Go you” for not giving them the water.
    I would imagine its like a drink of squash. If you drink the top half and then top it up with more water the drink gets weaker each time you do it until you’ve got pretty much nothing left of the original drink at all !

  11. Just when I thought I missed the fall change here in NJ for having been away, I get to see your lovely fall photos! Thank you. And “woo hoo” to you for standing strong.

  12. Wonderful blog post, Robin. The photos are gorgeous (as always) and the story is interesting and well told. I especially like the placement of your last two photos & their captions – they really do say it all.

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